Venues unavailable, Amsterdam leaves 2020 Eurovision Host City race

Rotterdam celebrates as Amsterdam joins The Hague, Leeuwarden and Breda and officially announces that they will not be able to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

A week after the Duncan Laurence won the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest for The Netherlands, many Dutch cities announced their intent to become next year’s host city. Mayer of capital city Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, had already voiced the cities interest at Eurovision in Concert and confirmed their interest in the end of May.

The city has several suitable venues, but a week before the “bidbook deadline” it is now clear that none of them are available. Both Ziggo Dome, RAI and Johan Cruijf ArenA are reserved for other events or concerts which cannot be moved. Creative alternatives were considered, but eventually deemed not feasible.

In a letter to the city council, Femke Halsema wishes the remaining cities all the best with their bidbook.

Several other cities left the race, for each their reasons. The Hague has no suitable venue, the venue Leeuwarden had in mind is too low and Breda can’t fund this large scale event. They all still wish the event, for example with small scale side events in the region or big screen public viewings.

Five cities left

With four competitors left, it seems Rotterdam is opening the champagne, blowing up balloons and shooting confetti. They must have feared the competition from Amsterdam and with them out, several local politicians seem sure to bring Europe’s favourite TV show to town.

Amsterdam leaving the race is very favourable for Rotterdam’s chances. They have a lot of experience hosting large events. Fact is, we’ll talk about the Rotterdam bid tonight and only on Tuesday the council will make a final decision about sending the bidbook to Hilversum.

Said Kasmi (City council member for D66, tasked with tourism)

In particular group chairman for PvdA is optimistic: “That means the treasure is ours, right? Even though we still have Maastrict to consider. But I understand that Amsterdam bailed out, when they are competing with us. That means you’ve lost.”

The cities that are still interested in hosting the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest are Rotterdam, Utrecht, Den Bosch, Arnhem and a combined effort from Maastricht and Limburg. Utrecht, however, seems to be slowly backing down as well with the Jaarbeurs venue being too low.

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